The Women’s wing of Ekta Parishad
Ekta Mahila Manch (EMM) is the women’s wing of the Ekta Parishad, which works to ensure the rights of oppressed on the natural resources for their livelihood and survival. Ekta Parishad, is a Gandhian mass organization with its spread in 13 states in India, namely Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhara Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat. EMM was established on 21st of June 2001 at the CESCI Centre, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. As a wing of the Ekta Parishad, EMM will struggle for women’s rights of equality, sovereignty and justice through non-violent means. It exists in all the states and places where the Ekta Parishad is working.
Its vision is “To establish equal, just and nonviolent society through women’s leadership and participation.” It strives to accomplish this by supporting the struggle of women for their pride, rights, empowerment and leadership in order to build a society based on values, non-violence and self dependence and to ensure their rights and control on natural resources for their livelihood.
We are half of the world; we should get half of the land.
In the fight against hunger; we are together.
It is our struggle; it is our leadership.
The objectives of Ekta Mahila Manch are:
- Ensuring women’s equitable rights over land and livelihood resources.
- Helping economic self dependence of women.
- Advocating for rules and regulations in favour of women and to ensure their implementation.
- Fighting against all sorts of oppression of women in the society.
- Ensuring social, political and economic empowerment of women in society.
In order to achieve its objectives, the EMM follows these strategies:
- Organizing the oppressed, downtrodden and poor women and men and educating them about their rights.
- Building institutions of village units consisting of organized women and men and sensitizing them on women issues.
- Ensuring the participation of women in village units by keeping them at least half in number in the total membership.
- Organizing Mutual Help Groups (MHGs) to build women based economy and helping them for economic empowerment.
- Building cadre of women youth.
- Developing women leadership so that they can lead non violent struggle for their rights.
- Building networks of organizations and institutions on women issues.
- Advocating with government administration and media on women rights.
- Ensuring the dialogue, struggle and constructive activities all together in the process of non violent struggle for women’s rights.
The strength and reach of Ekta Mahila Manch
The EMM has the spread into 13 states of India.
It has the membership of about 65,000 women.
The EMM has organized more than one thousand Mutual Help Groups so far in the country for economic activities supporting the livelihood of concerned families.
The women’s groups are cultivating around ten thousands acres of government land for their livelihood. Now under the “The scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act , 2006”, the process has started to get legal rights on this land.
The women’s groups have succeeded in establishing some new villages for those displaced under various government projects.
Hundreds of women have shown leadership skills in non violent struggles for their rights.
The women’s leaders emerging from the process of this Gandhian struggle have provided leadership in the political processes and in different democratic institutions of the country.